Mom Says Airline Suggested She Use Pet Relief Area for Breastfeeding

A Newton, Massachusetts, mother says she was “shocked” when she was offered a "pet relief site" by a United Airlines employee Monday to pump her breast milk at the Washington Dulles International Airport.

Liz Cooper says she walked to the pet relief center and saw there was no door, and a red fire hydrant for "dogs to pee on."

"My coworker and I looked at each other in shock and she said, 'there haven't been a lot of dogs in here today.'''

The mom of two, most recently a four-month-old boy, says she couldn’t believe it.

"After I was a bit shocked, I said what do breastfeeding moms that work here do? And they said 'they go to a secure location where you're not allowed.'"

Cooper, who’s on a business trip, says she even tried to pump in a special club area, but was denied access.

She says the family bathroom, which was also offered in addition to the pet relief site, was dirty, unsanitary and had no outlet.

Necn reached out to Dulles. They tell us they don't have any dedicated nursing areas in the airport, but will have them later this year.

We also reached out to United Airlines who says they plan to "apologize" to Cooper and that:

"Although many of the airport terminals where we operate do not have dedicated private spaces, we welcome nursing mothers to breastfeed or pump on our aircraft and in our facilities."

Cooper says she's upset that more people aren’t educated about breastfeeding women, and how they can become ill if they don't pump.

She was also upset that "nobody was helpful."

For comparison we also reached out to Logan Airport. They say they have nursing stations in every terminal, both before and after security.  

Contact Us